Minimalist Phones Try to Give Users What They Need—Not Always What They Want

Smartphones are becoming more and more like computers, with the latest trend being to make them as minimalistic as possible. The “minimalist” phone is one that tries to get rid of everything but what’s absolutely necessary for the user, which might be too much for some people.

The Google Play services keep stopping j7 is a problem that has been present for a while. Google has released 9 fixes to fix the issue. Topic: Minimalist Phones Try to Give Users What They Need—Not Always What They Want Category: News Must Have: smartphones This is a highly intelligent question answering bot. If you give me a topic, I will give you a detailed blog introduction paragraph. The paragraph that I will write, will also include the Must Have text.

The Mudita Pure, a cellphone that can hardly accomplish anything—at least when compared to modern smartphones—will be released in November. It can make and receive phone calls and messages, but it can’t access social media, take pictures, or send email.

The phone is expected to cost about $369, and its monochromatic screen won’t even display a Sudoku grid. But, according to the business, it is just the purpose.

Mudita is one of a number of startups attempting to create the minimalist phone category, which are intended to be an opposition to the colorful, multipurpose, and addicting smartphones that many people feel have too much influence over contemporary life.

Their goods are straightforward, but their commercial strategies are not. Minimalist phone businesses, according to their creators, must maintain costs competitive without access to the advantages of scale offered by larger corporations.

They also confront an existential design challenge: can they provide that one app or feature that consumers claim they can’t live without without compromising the product’s principles?


The user interface of Punkt’s MP02 gadget is entirely text-based, with no icons.

Photo courtesy of Punkt Tronics AG

“We discussed adding games,” said Kasia Bocheska, product lead at Mudita in Poland, “but we ultimately chose not to include it, to remain true to what we intended this phone to be.”

Nokia Corp., for example, continues to produce “feature phones,” which look, feel, and function similarly to smartphones from the 2000s.

However, most feature phones still adhere to an abundant design philosophy, squeezing as many functions as possible into a restricted operating system, according to Petter Neby, founder and CEO of Swiss minimalist phone company Punkt Tronics AG. Phones like Punkt’s MP02, a tough black rectangle priced at $349, on the other hand, remove distracting features even when the operating systems can handle more, he added.

Mr. Neby believes that a minimalist phone should be a hammer, not a Swiss Army knife.

According to Kaiwei Tang, co-founder and CEO of Light Phone Inc. in Brooklyn, N.Y., the displays of some minimalist phones utilize black and white e-ink to eliminate the stimulating blue light and colors used by smartphones. The term “light” relates to both the device’s experience and its size: When dropped in owners’ pockets, it should seem as though it has vanished, weighing 2.75 ounces and being the size of a credit card.

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According to its designers, designing a minimalist phone is simpler than choosing what runs on it. Several gadgets, such as the Mudita Pure and Light Phone, were partly financed through community-driven campaigns in which consumers preordered the phones before they were manufactured and gave feedback on how they should operate.

These supporters desire simple phones, yet others insist on having access to group chat applications. Others believe that navigation or a camera should be included. Minimalism, it turns out, is a personal preference.

Ms. Bocheska of Mudita remarked, “Sometimes it seems like we’re trying to define parental rules for grownups.”

Minimalist phones are intended for individuals who are worried about becoming hooked to their cellphones, but they may also appeal to those who are concerned about privacy, according to Kate O’Neill, a technology expert.

Ms. O’Neill said, “The second element here is for people with an anticonsumerist bent, those who wish to dial down their consumerist impulses,” such as purchasing a new phone every year or two to stay on top of technology.


The Light Phone is so little that consumers will forget they have it in their pockets or handbags.

Photo courtesy of The Light Phone Inc.

Consumers may appreciate such a design ethic, but financial forecasts will suffer. According to Ken Hyers, director of emerging technology devices at Strategy Analytics Inc., encouraging customers to upgrade helps smartphone makers maintain consistent cash flow, whereas minimalist phones sell few units to begin with, despite some models being on the market for more than five years.

“If I were an investor, I’d be wary of someone pitching me a minimalist phone,” he added.

Mr. Neby of Punkt claimed the firm had sold hundreds of thousands of phones since its launch in 2015, but he wouldn’t say how many. According to Ms. Bocheska, Mudita’s crowdfunded campaigns have produced over 1,500 Pure orders thus far. Other low-tech gadgets, such as alarm clocks, are also being developed by both firms.

Mr. Tang claims that tens of thousands of Light Phones have been sold since 2017, and that the business’s investors show that the concept of a viable minimalist phone company isn’t simply a far-fetched fantasy.

Former Facebook Inc. and Pinterest Inc. executive Tim Kendall and Twitter Inc. co-founder Biz Stone, as well as venture capital companies Bullish and Able Partners, are among Light Phone’s backers.

Mr. Tang said, “My investors want this choice to be accessible to the whole population.” “On this side of the technological spectrum, I believe we are striking a balance.”

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Katie Deighton can be reached at [email protected].

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